Tag Archives: friends

Almond Orange Cake

One of my favorite things about the spring and summer is that everyone spends more time with friends.  I feel like summers are busy- travel, vacations, weddings, etc.  But it’s so much easier to venture out of your house (or your PJ’s) and have a drink or dinner with a friend when it’s still light out at 8pm.  With the dreaded cold weather behind us (90’s have started off the summer in DC), summer is in full swing.

As we mentioned previously, we recently bought a new house and the extra space allows us to entertain more.  It’s nice to have friends drop in for barbeque, pizza or dessert.  And when you want to throw something together in a hurry it’s always hard to find a quick dessert.  So I’ve done a little research (ahem: taste testing) for all of you, and I highly recommend this cake.

Almond Orange Cake 1

It’s not even a cake, it’s a delicious dessert that can be eaten after a meal, or a perfect breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee.  I made this over a month ago when I had some girlfriends over for a Mexican night, and I can still remember the moist and fluffy cake.  It was perfect the next morning, so it can easily be made the night before.

Almond Orange Cake 2

Almond Orange Cake
Adapted from: The Mexican Cookbook

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice from 1 large orange (about 4 tbsp)
10 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Add the almonds to the food processor, and puree them until they are a mealy mixture.

In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar, until smooth and fluffy.  Then beat in the eggs, pureed almonds, almond extract, vanilla extract and orange juice.  Next stir in the flour and salt, mix until it’s incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Butter or spray  an 8-inch spring form.  Pour in the better, smooth the top of the surface.  Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until it feels spongy when gently pressed.  Remove from the oven and let stand to cool.

Prior to serving, dust with powdered sugar.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sam and I are running the So Others Might Eat Turkey Trot 5K this morning- I hope everyone has a great run or walk!  I can’t wait to find out what you all are having on your Thanksgiving tables!

As I’m getting older, I’ve been able to appreciate holidays more- concentrate on what matters: time with family and friends, delicious food, and a whole day focused on gratitude!  Have a great holiday!

If you’re in search of any last minute Thanksgiving ideas, here are some of our favorites we’ve posted in the past:

Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Deep Fried Turkey
Pomegranate and Kale Orzo Salad
Cauliflower Soup with Croutons
Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Panzanella Salad
Leafy Brussels Sprouts with Nuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with Cranberries
Cranberry Cake

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Have you ever thought about how you met your friends?  Sometimes people want to know what is the connection, or connector, between two people, and it’s always interesting to think about it.  Since I had lived in various places throughout my 20’s (Sevilla, Iowa City, Virginia Beach and DC), I have friends which I met in some crazy situations.  Others are friends of friends, people I met at conferences, or someone who lived in the building.

Today is my friend Carolyn’s birthday (Happy Birthday!), and we don’t have a crazy story about how we met- it was at work, and we were one of the very few people under the age of 50 (not kidding).  Although we were only in the same office for a 1 year, we did find that we have a huge thing in common: our love for Mexican food.  We may have enjoyed many burrito bowls at Chipotle during our lunch hours (we also had an enchilada dinner not too long ago).  We were a little inseparable- kind of like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

To celebrate Carolyn’s birthday I made her some treats- hope she enjoys them!  Although these don’t have to be just for a celebration- enjoy them when you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (but without bread).  Perfect little one-bite treat.  Yum!

What’s your favorite jelly or jam?  My favorite is the strawberry-rhubarb, although it’s difficult to find.  The last time I bought one was when I was in Germany earlier this year.  It tasted delicious on this little bite-size cookie.

PB & J Cookie
Adapted from: Love Veggies and Yoga

1/4 cup of organic peanut butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
jelly or jam

In a small bowl whip together peanut butter and butter with a mixer until it is creamy.  I recommend putting it in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds before mixing, it’ll be easier to whip together.  Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt* and flour.  Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Keep the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, this will make it easier to work with the dough.  Once you take it out of the fridge, form the dough into balls.  Indent the top, making sure there are walls all around.  In each well, add your favorite jelly or jam.

*I used unsalted peanut butter, therefore I added a bit more salt.